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Comedy-drama in 1990s British cinema
Author: Nigel Mather

This book explores the interactions of comedy and drama within a group of significant and influential films released during the decade of the 1990s. It examines a group of British films from this period which engage with economic and social issues in unusual and compelling ways. Brassed Off and The Full Monty are two films invoking very different cultural traditions as possible activities for unemployed males and troubled communities in modern British society. The book then discusses a number of contemporary British films focusing upon the experiences of British-Asian and African-Caribbean characters and their efforts to feel 'at home' in Western and British society. It features an extensive analysis of East is East, a comedy-drama about the cultural and ideological tensions surfacing between members of a British-Asian family living in Salford, circa 1971. Next, the book includes case studies of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually. It investigates the ways in which humour is deployed for dramatic and emotional effect in the context of scenarios dealing with such seemingly non-comic subjects as mass unemployment, failed or uneasy relationships, bitter family disputes, or instances of racial tension and conflict in British society. The book demonstrates that the interaction of comic and dramatic modes of narration within the films discussed proved to be a dynamic creative mechanism in 1990s British cinema, facilitating and enabling the construction of innovative and genuinely exploratory narratives about characters who are striving to realise particular aspirations and hopes within a complex culture.

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Anamik Saha

conservative, and do not trust Asian programmes – or rather certain kinds of Asian programmes – to attract big ratings. Screenwriter and director Neil Biswas, experienced this first hand, when his two-part Channel 4 drama, Second Generation – one of the first British television dramas to centre solely on British Asian characters – got bumped from its scheduled 9  p.m. broadcast, to 10  p.m. This was even though the film – and its original 9 p.m. timeslot – had already been publicised in a significant marketing push, including newspaper adverts, television trailers and a

in Adjusting the contrast
Ken Loach, Ae Fond Kiss and multicultural Scottish cinema
Christopher Meir

socio-cultural problems that film-makers are hoping to critique. The major pressures on Roisin and Casim in Ae Fond Kiss are familiar from other films: Casim’s arranged marriage (a plot device that Geraghty describes as a cliché in British-Asian films when used with female British-Asian characters [2005, p. 67]) brings to the fore his conflict with his parents’ 144 Scottish cinema traditions. Roisin’s problem resides with her parish priest whose bigotry will lead him to abuse his power and deprive Roisin of her job. Finally, the two must face up to their inability

in Scottish cinema
Nigel Mather

communication or understanding between differing cultures and communities. My Beautiful Laundrette had succeeded in creating British-Asian characters that were lively and unpredictable, but there were no unambiguous indications about how such cultural representations could be extended and updated within a fragmented and piecemeal indigenous film industry, which itself lacked a stable production base and a clear sense of

in Tears of laughter